Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Istanbul - New District

On our final day in Istanbul, we visited a more modern district of the city, across the Golden Horn (an inlet from the Bosporus) from the more historic areas. Modern Turkey is a lot like modern anywhere else. We followed the Rick Steve's tour up and down Istiklal Street. There's actually a trolley that runs the distance of the street, but it's actually slower than walking, by and large, especially if there are crowds.

Here we took advantage of a few Turkish signatures foods: Turkish delight (locum), Turkish Ice Cream (very sticky and thick), simit (bagel-shaped bread covered in sesame seeds), and helva (ground sesames, flour, and sugar). Only the last we didn't particularly care for.

There is a lot of 20th century architecture here, and a lot of European influence. This part of Istanbul leaned more toward Europe, and most of the European consulates are or were here. Most of all, this is a shopping street, and it looks a lot like other shopping streets, albeit with a Turkish twist.

We also passed by (several times) Galata tower, an old 219 feet high tower standing tall above the surrounding shops. It's supposed to have a great view over the Golden Horn, and fantastic views of the historic district, but we didn't go up.

Unfortunately, our final day was somewhat low energy, and we had a lot of last minute shopping to do. The whole trip was long, draining, and exciting. We had a great time, but were ready to go home.

From Istanbul

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